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Stereophile Oct 2017


1st Edition

RMAF 2017: Day One in Denver, with Herb
I am a student of DACs. To me they are like phono cartridges--each sounding quite different from the other--and I just need to know which I like most. A close friend of mine uses the top MSB DAC, and his system seems so natural and relaxed and consistently alive.

RMAF 2017: Jana's Day One
What is cooler than music? And what is cooler than (mostly) good-natured people listening to (mostly) good-sounding music played through (mostly) good-looking gear? Sure, you hear the same music a lot. But what's cooler than someone who knows what s/he likes to listen to and doesn't give a damn how many times everyone hears it? It's admirable.

RMAF 2017: Jason Visits the Big Boys at RMAF
To paraphrase a classic early English song by Thomas Arne, "Where the big boys go, there go I." Thus to the Marriott's lobby and mezzanine, where many of the biggest systems found spaces congenial to their size, didst I head.

RMAF 2017: JVS Hits the Floors at RMAF
My day began on a vital high note. After our blogging team of three--me, Herb Reichert, and Jana Dagdagan--finished discussing how we were possibly going to cover 143 exhibit rooms plus the third edition of the Rocky Mountain International Press Awards, I headed to the large lobby level room sponsored by Colorado-based retailer, The Audio Alternative.

RMAF 2017: Off to a Very Good Start
Perhaps it was due to the notable increase in active exhibit rooms, or a CanJam so packed with exhibitors that it has spilled out into the hallway and a nearby open ballroom. Or maybe it was because of the completion of the Marriott remodeling, and the feeling of freshness it brought to a show that has regained its footing as the largest consumer audio show in the United States.

RMAF 2017: Focal Press Breakfast
At 8:30am on Friday, my 2017 RMAF began on a solemn note: a moment of silence for Focal's Gerard Chretien, who passed on October 1st. Along with Jacques Mahul, Monsieur Chretien was an important member of the Focal team since 1990. He was a fan of sound and music who contributed copious style, innovation, and intelligence to the mystique of the French company's sophisticated international image.

Quad ESL loudspeaker
High fidelity took a giant step forward in 1956 with Peter Walker's introduction of the Quad ESL. Walker's research efforts had been motivated by his firm belief in the superiority of the electrostatic dipole over the box loudspeaker, but actually to take the economic plunge and market such a speaker was surely an act of bravery.

Listening #178: Burwell Mother of Burl loudspeaker
Even at full strength, my family didn't need 3000-plus square feet of living space, let alone four acres of outdoor frolicking space, much of it wooded. But in 2003 that's precisely what we bought, partly because our deal fell through on another, very different house, partly because living next to a dairy farm was an appealing novelty, and partly because the hill on which the house is poised seemed defensible.

Murray Head: Nigel Lives Again
Seeing your album in a record store's cutout bin meant one thing. Despite the label execs' wide smiles, warm handshakes, and earnest promises to the contrary, once the record jacket had a hole punched in it, or its corner clipped, it meant your record label had lost faith and moved on.

Dan D'Agostino Progression Mono monoblock power amplifier
For as long as I've known about high-end audio, I've put Dan D'Agostino, co-founder of Krell, on the same pedestal reserved for the likes of Frank McIntosh, Saul Marantz, Avery Fisher, H.H. Scott, and Sidney Harman. The reason is simple: Dan's the man whose achievements at Krell led me from the harsh sound of my first high-end amp into another dimension, one of truly musical sound reproduction.

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